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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

Nathan Smith Takes Miami's Gay Nightlife to New Heights

Nathan Smith, a pivotal figure in Miami's LGBTQ+ nightlife scene, has dedicated over two decades to creating spaces where everyone feels welcomed and celebrated. Born in 1978, Smith's journey began when he relocated to South Beach in 1998, seeking solace and acceptance within the vibrant LGBTQ+ community that thrived there.


His first encounter with the local LGBTQ+ establishments left an indelible mark on him, as they provided him with a sense of belonging and security that had eluded him elsewhere. Fate led him to Richard Trainor's iconic South Beach dance club, Twist, where he quickly found himself immersed in the pulse of the city's nightlife.


"It was an accident that landed me in this industry," Smith reflects, recounting his serendipitous introduction to the world of LGBTQ+ nightlife. "When I moved here, the gay bar was the first place that made me feel safe and accepted. And now that's what I want to give back to the community."


Driven by a deep-rooted desire to pay forward the acceptance he found, Smith embarked on a journey to realize his vision of creating a haven where individuals from all walks of life could come together, free from judgment and discrimination. After more than a decade of conceptualization, Smith's dream finally materialized in 2020 with the inception of Nathan's Beach Club.


As the co-owner and founder of Nathan's Beach Club, Smith brings a wealth of experience garnered from his 20-plus years in the South Beach nightlife scene. His goal is simple yet profound: to cultivate a safe and inclusive environment where patrons can authentically express themselves without fear of prejudice. Smith's tireless dedication to this mission is evident in every aspect of Nathan's Beach Club, from its curated music and programming to its welcoming atmosphere.


For nearly three decades, Smith played a pivotal role in the success of Twist, one of Miami's most iconic LGBTQ+ bars. However, it was his fortuitous meeting with Derek Gonzalez, founder of Goat Hospitality Group, that enabled him to turn his lifelong dream into reality. Together, they brought Nathan's Beach Club to life, creating a sacred space where individuals can come together to celebrate love, diversity, and acceptance.

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